Rahul Gandhi: India needs to decentralise power

Rahul Gandhi delivers his first speech as Congress party Vice-President during the Congress party leadership conclave in Jaipur on January 20, 2013. Supporters have been demanding a larger role for Rahul Gandhi

Related Stories

India's ruling Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been promoted to the party's number two position, has said he would work to transform the country by "decentralising" power.

Mr Gandhi was appointed as the party's vice-president at the weekend. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, is the president.

Party leaders have been demanding a larger role for Mr Gandhi.

Support for Congress in its second term has been hit by economic concerns and corruption cases.

Mr Gandhi told a party conclave in the city of Jaipur on Sunday that India's governmental system was struck in the past and needed transformation.

"A handful of people control the entire political space. We don't respect knowledge, we respect position," he said

Start Quote

Mr Gandhi delivered an unusually candid and heartfelt speech to mark his anointment as the party's number two”

End Quote

"It doesn't matter how much wisdom you have. If you don't have position, you have nothing. That's the tragedy of India," he said.

Mr Gandhi said young people were angry because they had been excluded from the political class.

"We only empower people at the top of the system. We don't believe in empowering all the way to the bottom," he said.

Mr Gandhi said change could be possible only if those in power started empowering people for their knowledge and skills.

"All the public systems - administration, justice, education and political - are designed to keep people with knowledge out," he said.

The 42-year-old leader is widely expected to be the party's candidate for prime minister in next year's general elections.

In November, Mr Gandhi was appointed the head of a committee which will look after party activities relating to the 2014 elections.

The two-term Congress government - which has been hit by corruption allegations and claims of inaction - is expected to face a tough general election, correspondents say.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More India stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Abandoned stadiumShow's over...

    ...but what happens next? BBC Culture takes a look at what happens to abandoned stadiums

Programmes

  • A woman sits on a bed in a scene from Gustav Deutsch's latest film about Edward Hopper's paintingsTalking Movies Watch

    How film-maker Gustav Deutsch brought Edward Hopper’s paintings to life

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.